Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I have been looking at a few other blogs recently - it's fascinating to see all the different styles and approaches. One was writing and poetry news items only (quite boring but useful), another was aimed at teen readers.
I have been reading Jane Yolen's online journal for several months now. She is so down-to-earth and talks about what she is working on, as well as rejections and acceptances of manuscripts and news from home. She likes readers to email her with comments and I've been quite excited to see that recently she has used a couple of my emails. I did enjoy her story of the fat and gaunt cows. Go to and click on the journal link.
The early part of the week is always about teaching for me. Workshopping in most classes is either underway or about to start. It can be a tedious exercise if students don't contribute or understand what they can get out of it. I know that at the moment it's feeding back into my own writing by showing me how to more easily cut out what is not necessary, and also to acknowledge my gut feelings about a section. The tendency is to ignore that feeling - to think, Oh it'll be OK as it is.
On the weekend I had a three page section that had a lot of necessary explanation in it. That's what I told myself at first. Then I had to acknowledge that those pages were long and wordy, and find a way to trim them back.
What is hardest to workshop is the great story that is well written, but something just isn't working in it. We had one of those the other day, and it took a while before I could hone in on what it was. Basically it was the movement back and forth in time - too slow and explanatory. Everything in the story could easily take place in the "now" of the story. I'm looking forward to seeing what the student does with it, as it is potentially a very good story.

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